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The Chimurenga Chronic

by Stacy Hardy / 19.10.2011

The Chronic is a one-time only edition of Chimurenga which takes the form of a speculative newspaper. Back-dated to the 18-24 May 2008 – the first week of the xenophobic violence across South Africa three years ago, the Chimurenga Chronicle is an opportunity to provide the depth of reporting and analysis that should have appeared during this period. The newspaper also looks outward – covering events, scenes and situations from around the world during this period. And it launched today!

It was Sun Ra who said it a long time ago: “Equation wise, the first thing to do is consider internal linktime as officially ended… we’ll work on the other side of time… we’ll bring them here through either isotope, internal linkteleportation, transmolecularzation… ” . The time was 1974 and Space was The Place. A prolific jazz composer, bandleader, philosopher, afronaut and historian, Ra was ahead of his time.

Almost four decades later, it is increasing clear that time, once thought continuous, is actually marked by radical disjunctions and overlapping time-spaces. What’s more, the tools we have at our disposal, particularly in the area of knowledge production, do not help us much to grasp that which is emerging.

What we need now is a Time Machine! A device that will allow us to work “on the other side of time”, to discover possibilities for new ways thinking through the “having been and yet to come.”

The Chimurenga Chronicle such a machine, a once-off edition of a speculative, future-forward newspaper that travels back in time to re-imagine the present. Both a bold art project and a hugely ambitious publishing venture, the Chimurenga Chronicle comprises of a 96-page multi-section broadsheet, the stand-alone 56 page Chronic Life Magazine and a self-contained 96 page Chronic Book Review Magazine.

By imagining the newspaper as a low-tech time travel machine, our aim is not only to reanimate history, to ask what could have been done – but also to provide a space from which to re-engage the present and re-dream the future.

You can get your hands on the Chimurenga Chronic here.

*Hit up the Chronic launch in JHB this Friday at the drill Hall in downtown Jozi. Or check out the Chronic Library exhibition at the Goethe Institute. More info here.

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